A teacher at a public high school in a small northern Indiana city is on paid administrative leave because she — or he, the teacher’s gender is assiduously undisclosed — told students to hang signs reading “whites only” and “blacks only” prominently above water fountains and near bathrooms inside the school.
The students hung the signs on Friday at Concord High School in Elkhart, Ind. (about 20 miles from South Bend), reports The Elkhart Truth.
The point of hanging the racist signs in the school’s hallways was to “demonstrate the feel of government-sanctioned segregation that previously existed in portions of our country,” according to a statement by Concord Community Schools Superintendent John Trout.
The teacher did not obtain approval from school officials or from the school district before pulling the racist stunt.
“Concord Community Schools strives to create a welcoming atmosphere for all of our students, who come from many diverse racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds,” Trout also said in the statement, according to local ABC affiliate WBND.
“Upon learning of the sign postings, school officials immediately removed the signs and addressed the students in class. The teacher has been placed on administrative leave pending further investigation of the matter.”
Elkhart parent Martise Evans, who is black, noted that students who saw the signs might have felt ill at ease.
Except for the teacher’s fake signs, no actual racial discrimination appears to have occurred at the taxpayer-funded school.
“Concord Community Schools appreciates its educators attempting to be innovative in their teaching approach,” Trout’s statement explained. “However, methods and tactics that can be viewed as harassing or discriminatory to students and teachers are not appropriate and are prohibited in our schools.”
Trout noted that school officials also spoke to the students in the teacher’s class about the signs.
A search of Concord High School’s website yields eight social studies teachers.
Concord High School has been in the news more than usual lately. Last week, school district officials said they would comply with a federal judge’s ban on a planned nativity scene. The nativity scene would have been part of of an annual Christmas performance. However, the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union sued. The judge issued a preliminary injunction Wednesday ordering the district to take the nativity scene out of the annual program. (RELATED: Indiana School District Drops Nativity After Anti-Religion Groups Sue)